Plymouth Argyle boss John Sheridan still keen on Algerian midfielder
MANAGER John Sheridan wants to take a longer look at Plymouth Argyle trialist Hamza Bencherif.
The Algerian midfielder is a free agent after being released by League One outfit Notts County at the end of last season.
Bencherif has recently been on trial with Chesterfield and Mansfield Town without being offered a contract by either League Two club.
The 25-year-old played for an Argyle XI when they lost 2-1 to Bristol City in a 'development squad' game at Home Park on Tuesday.
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Bencherif has trained with the Pilgrims' squad since then and Sheridan retains an interest in him even though he is some way short of full fitness.
Sheridan said: "I knew of his availability. He has been at one or two other clubs.
"I think he lacks match fitness. He played in the game the other day and he did okay, but you can see clearly he hasn't had a pre-season.
"Fitness-wise, he is way behind the other players but I know what he's all about.
"He has played against my teams a couple of times and he has been strong. He has got a presence about him.
"We will have a look at him and see how he gets on. He has been with us for a couple of days and, hopefully, he will carry on training with us.
"We will take it from there and see how it goes."
Bencherif, a former Algerian under-20 international, started his career at Nottingham Forest before having two-year spells at both Macclesfield Town and Notts County.
Sheridan added: "He needs to be playing games. I know what he's all about and he's a good player at this level."
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Argyle striker Matt Lecointe has had a successful operation to repair torn cruciate knee ligaments.
Lecointe still faces a lengthy recovery period, though, after he did the damage in a pre-season game away to Truro City last month.
Sheridan said: "The operation went very well by all accounts.
"It's a long process and it's an injury you have got to take your time with and make sure you do things properly.
"Lots and lots of players have gone on to have really successful careers from the same injury and we will get Matt in the best shape we can.
"It's down to him now to keep himself focused and work very hard to get back fully fit."